Monday, June 26, 2017

Are You Important?

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Ian Maclaren

He was looking dejected when I approached the counter to order some coffee. I asked if he’d been having a rough day. 

“No, I’m fine.” 

He wasn’t fine. There was no one behind me in line so I engaged him for a few moments. 

“This place can be a bit hectic. I come here most mornings. People are in a hurry, anxious to get wherever they’re going, not meaning to hurt anyone. It just happens. They sometimes forget that the person behind the counter is having a hectic morning, too.”

 He looked up at me with a faint smile. I handed him a $5 tip. He glowed. 

“People don’t realize how important you are to them. You’re the one who gets them back on the road with this great coffee. You matter.” 

His look of gratitude was all I needed. My day was already made.

You may not want to admit it but when you’re overlooked, taken for granted, or abused by customers, bosses, or others who have some kind of authority over you, face it: you don’t like it.

However. . .

No one, as the saying goes, can make us feel inferior without our permission. Each time we respond to the world by giving it the power to make us feel awful about ourselves, we lose just a little more ground, a little more personal power. And the more power we give up, the worse we feel.

Here’s your opportunity to feel a little better about yourself:

Consciously choose to see the importance of each person you interact with today. 

Just for a moment or two, take your mind off yourself. Recognize that everyone is engaged in his or her own kind of suffering. This is the beginning of compassion.

OK, now back to you. Coffee's ready.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Is There a "Secret" to Manifesting What You Want? Not Really...

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

You'll be jumping for joy!

So, you really want to know how to get what you want, how to be what you want, how to do what you want? Really? Honestly? No kidding? 

Well, first, a question: Are you willing to do it takes? If you already have started making excuses like, "I won't do anything illegal," or "I've got my family to think about," or "You mean, like, jumping off a cliff or something?" then you've already chopped yourself off at the knees. In order to get, do, and be what you want, you must be willing to do what it takes. You must move. You must practice, practice, practice.

It's said that it takes around 21 days to change a habit. (Maybe, but no need to limit your time frame.) Here's your formula for getting everything you want. Follow this and success is guaranteed. Don't follow it, and it isn't. It's that simple. OK, here we go. Hold onto your hat. You're in for a fun but bumpy ride.

  • Decide what it is you want. Be clear, be certain, be honest. Take a little time. Think about it. Got it? OK, next...
  • Hold a clear picture of it. The better you can see it in your mind's eye, the easier it will be to recognize it when it shows up. While seeing it, talk to yourself about it and...
  • Create a mantra for it. Some call this an affirmation, and I guess it can be that, but it's actually a call to action. Here's how to create it: Pick two or three words that grab the essence of your picture and repeat it many times during the course of the day. Example: You want to be a great painter. Say "The world loves my art."

Monday, June 19, 2017

Clarity: How to See Through the Dust

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

"A great many people think they are thinking when
they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
William James

When you look out into the night sky, it seems there is a vast, empty distance between you and stars, even you and the moon. In reality, however, the space isn't empty. And it's not distant. Space begins right where you are, from your brain to the galaxies. 

In between you and the galaxies is a lot of space dust. In fact, if it were not for all the dust, you wouldn't be able to see anything. Why? The Milky Way, your home, would be way too bright. The dust mellows the light so you can see.

But the dust that allows you to see the stars also hides the distant ones. That's why we send telescopes like the Hubble out into space, to get beyond our atmosphere, and at least some of the debris and particles that are floating around, blocking our view. 

We are aware of less than four percent of the visible universe, let alone the invisible. So, we create stories in order to make sense of things. 

When it comes to things spiritual, it works the same way. Your prayers are answered, the outcome manifested, according to how you create and recreate your stories—your beliefs—and how you clear the dust from your inner lenses. Here’s how:

  • Identify your aim. Be clear. What are you seeking, really? And are you willing to pay the price? There's always a price. 
  • Place your attention (focus) on the solution. Take your mind off the problem. Be aware of the blockages but don’t give them power. 
  • Allow the answer to show itself. Be willing to act on the opportunities that will invariably come your way when you are focused. Are you open to receiving what you ask for? Including any consequences? Sure? Be ready to change direction if need be.
Here's a truth: We mostly don't know what we really want. And that's okay. No matter how much we wish for something, we can never know the outcome of receiving it. As the saying goes, careful what you wish for; you just might get it. 

So, I challenge you to create a vision, get a picture--you know, like all the gurus tell you to do--but instead of trying to maintain it, let it go. Since you have no idea of the outcome, whether you receive what you want or not, trust in the spirit of the universe to bring into your life the very best it has to offer. Act as if you have received it, and move on. Opportunity is continual.

Even if you don't know exactly what it is, your Very Best is seeking you. As long as you keep the dust clear. 

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way;
if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse…”
George C. Fraser

(African-American success teacher)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Unblocked! Three Myths That Stand Between You and Your Best--and How to Overcome Them

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

The myths must go!

Your beliefs determine your experience. Change your beliefs, change your outcomes...

“There is a natural law of abundance which pervades the universe, but it will not flow through a doorway of belief in lack and limitation.” Paul Zaiter

You have an inner belief boundary that defines who you are, what’s possible for you, and what you deserve to enjoy. This boundary is based in past perceptions and not on fact or truth. You live out these beliefs without questioning their validity. You have a strong need to cling to these beliefs and have difficulty releasing them. Your circumstances won’t significantly change until you release the need to cling to those beliefs and consciously create new pathways, new goals, new thoughts
(Paraphrased from The Inner Game of Selling by Ron Willingham © 2006)

If you find yourself in a place of discontent, ill at ease, not happy, not abundant 'enough,' perhaps you have bought into the three myths that are holding you back:

Myth #1: There’s not enough: there’s not enough money, food, water, air, time, love, etc.
Truth: Sufficiency is not an amount, it’s an experience. Key: Willingness to trust.

Myth #2: More is better--a chase with no end and a race without winners.
Truth: Sufficiency resides inside each of us and we can call it forward. Key: Clarity of purpose.

Myth #3: That’s just the way it is and there’s no way out. The path of resignation. Poor me, poor us. This one holds the strongest grip.
Truth: Sufficiency is a consciousness, an attention, an intentional choosing of the way we think about our circumstances. Key: Openness of mind and heart.

It's always a great temptation to hold onto the 'poor me' attitude, to play the victim, to rest on the edge of martyrdom. And sometimes, even if we don't admit it, we enjoy the pain of it all. Yes. Masochism is real. And masochism is pleasurable. Time to face up to it. 

Next time you find yourself indulging in self pity, be honest: Are you enjoying it? If yes, you can decide whether or not you really want to move out of it. If no, then it's time to step out and take responsibility for your feelings. Start with new actions. Do something different. Start a project. 

Whatever you do, don't continue to lie about feeling sorry for yourself. 

Unless, of course, that's your true goal.


“When you let go of trying to get MORE of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.” Lynn Twist, The Soul of Money

Monday, June 12, 2017

Getting God's Attention: The Pros--and Cons--of Prayer

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Into the Silence...*

"What is the difference between a prayer and a curse? Intent."

You may think prayer is a wonderful way of asking, or getting, some deity to perform an act, a task, or a favor for you or someone you love. 

Or, you may use prayer to stop someone or something in its tracks. As the famous Saturday Night Live Church Lady, portrayed by Dana Carvey, often said, "I'm gonna say a little prayer against you."

With all that in mind, I offer you the pros and cons of prayer.
  • Be cautious when praying for others. You may not know what's best for them. Get their permission, if you can.
  • Be cautious even when praying for yourself. Your own good is sometimes, and often, a mystery to you.
Effective prayer
  • Prayers of release--an invitation, a surrender. Surrender isn't giving up. Giving up says nothing else can be done. Surrender says there is a higher power, a higher purpose, a higher outcome. You are willing to allow it to unfold. No pleading, begging, whining, cajoling, or threatening necessary.
  • Prayers of gratitude. You recognize that Higher Power, Spirit, God, or whatever your choice is here, is at work in the situation, the other person's life, your life. It's called Trust.
We all come into this life with no guarantees. Bumps, bruises, pain, suffering, along with joy, laughter, love, and success, are all and equally part of the program. How we deal with them is the determining factor that makes or breaks our moment by moment experience.

You have been given a great gift--the opportunity to have this amazing human experience. How you choose to respond to each day you remain on earth will make the difference between a catastrophe and a celebration.

So, then, does prayer work? Is it beneficial? Certainly. As long as you remember you're not twisting the arm of some cosmic entity who's sitting around waiting for your next request. 

Recognizing that the universe is already supporting you, already assisting you, already waiting for you to simply open your eyes to the abundance that surrounds you, now, that's the way to benefit from prayer. 

To paraphrase the 13th century mystic Meister Eckhart, who said, or at least has been credited with saying, If the only prayer you ever utter is Thank You in your entire life, it will have been enough.

"My life is one long obstacle course, with me being the chief obstacle." Jack Paar, former host of The Tonight Show, NBC

*Photo courtesy of Steven Sammler, Baja California